The Samsung Galaxy Fold is set to hit the streets April 26th. The $1,980 smartphone will be the first mainstream phone with a flexible OLED display that lets you phone the hold in half and use it in your pocket, or unfold it and use it like a tablet.
And in spite of the high price tag, it seems to be in high demand — Samsung has temporarily stopped taking pre-orders, since they’ve “surpassed expectations). AT&T is still taking pre-orders, but the ship date has moved back to June.
But… you might want to hold off on buying a Galaxy Fold until it’s clear that some quality control issues are dealt with. At least four of the folks who Samsung sent review units to report that they’ve had their screens break within days of receiving the demo units.
Writing for The Verge, Dieter Bohn says he noticed a bulge in the screen of his Galaxy Fold within two days of receiving the phone. Eventually it pressed against the screen and broke through. It’s not clear what caused the bulge, but he suspects a spec of dust or some other foreign object got into the phone.
It turns out that’s not a screen protector, and Samsung says you shouldn’t remove it. But it’s likely that Gurman won’t be the only person confused by its appearance.
Case in point: YouTuber Marques Brownlee says he also removed the film… with similar results.
CNBC’s Steve Kovach also had his screen go crazy after using the phone for a day (with one side blinking and then going dark).
As for Mark Gurman’s Galaxy Fold, he says It’s gotten worse over time and now the phone is nearly unusable. He’s also spotted a tear at the part of the screen near the top of the phone’s hinge.
All of which is to say — Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is an impressive, expensive phone. And it may also be a fragile one.
At least nobody’s reporting that their phones have burst into flames.
While it’s certainly possible that these issues only affect pre-production hardware, the phone is set to begin shipping next week and reviewers apparently just received their demo units. It’s sure starting to look like Samsung may not have worked out all the kinks for its first folding phone.
Update: Samsung has issued a statement about the broken review units saying the company “will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter.” The company also notes that you should not remove the top layer covering the screen, as that’s part of the display and dong so could (and probably will) damage the device. Sure, it may look like a screen protector, but it’s not. At least two reports of screen problems occurred after reviewers removed this film.
It has gotten progressively worse. Here’s the latest, photo taken now. One photo is from last night. Other photo is earlier this morning. pic.twitter.com/qzmlM0a3pL
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) April 17, 2019
PSA: There’s a layer that appears to be a screen protector on the Galaxy Fold’s display. It’s NOT a screen protector. Do NOT remove it.
I got this far peeling it off before the display spazzed and blacked out. Started over with a replacement. pic.twitter.com/ZhEG2Bqulr
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) April 17, 2019
— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) April 17, 2019